Photo Credit: Vanity Fair
This might have missed the visual mark. Vanity Fair unveiled their 2015 feature story for October and let’s just say the ladies are not thrilled.
On the cover of the magazine, accompanied by the headline “Why Late-Night Television Is Better than Ever” are the Titans of Television including Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Trevor Noah, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Larry Wilmore, Jimmy Fallon and Bill Maher.
Noticeably absent? Women.
After Vanity Fair shared a glimpse of the issue on Twitter Monday afternoon, their followers roared with questions and concerns over the seemingly misogynistic cover story.
Audiences also took concern with the lack of racial diversity represented. Rachel Rainey on Twitter chimed in, “I don’t have anything against these guys, but that’s a whole lot of white dudes.”
In fact, Trevor Noah is featured on the cover as one of the two African American men on the cover (the other being Larry Wilmore); however, Noah hasn’t even started his show yet – taking over for Jon Stewart.
“Some women are funny and some women are not. It’s similar to how some women are tall and you know, some women are short. It’s like how some women like to ride the train and some women, while others prefer to take the bus. Women are different.”
Only a couple hours after Vanity Fair began noticing some heated comments about the story, they attempted at saving a little face and tweeted, “As David Kamp writes in VF, it’s ‘gobsmackingly insane' that late night has no female hosts.”
Kamp elaborates, “What’s conspicuously missing from late-night, still, is women. How gobsmackingly insane is it that no TV network has had the common sense – and that’s all we’re talking about in 2015, not courage, bravery, or even decency – to hand over the reins of an existing late-night comedy program to a female person?”
The Vanity Fair coverage inevitably sparked the age-old assumption that women aren’t funny. Oh, you thought that argument was over? It’s not.
SNL alum and renowned comedienne Tina Fey wrote in her 2011 novel Bossypants, “It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it is empirically not good. I don’t like Chinese food, but I don’t write articles trying to prove it doesn’t exist.”
Ellie Kemper, star of Netflix’s The Unbreakably Kimmy Schmidt, conveyed similar sentiment in a 2013 Ted talk.
In it, she referred to another article previously in Vanity Fair by Christopher Hitchens titled “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” Published before the hilariously female-casted film Bridesmaids, it ignited the issue once more.
Are women funny? Kemper answered it this way: “Some women are funny and some women are not. It’s similar to how some women are tall and you know, some women are short. It’s like how some women like to ride the train and some women, while others prefer to take the bus. Women are different.”
So where are the women titans of television? Not on October’s cover of Vanity Fair - that’s evident. However, they are out there.
Chelsea Handler and Samantha Bee might be two of the well-deserving women snubbed on the cover, but as Vanity Fair did point out in the piece, “Two female hosts [Handler and Bee] plus the 10 men featured here is still a long way from a late-night that truly looks like America. But the next version of this story’s opening picture will be that much brighter.”
Read the full Vanity Fair article here.